Jericho ATV Festival Expected to Draw Thousands
July 26, 2014
By Barbara Tetreault
Berlin Daily Sun
Berlin – The 2014 Jericho ATV Festival is jammed packed with events befitting its growing reputation as the premier summer event for ATV riders on the East Coast. Poker run, mud pit races, obstacle course, a downtown block party, live music, a professional freestyle show, ATV pulls, blessing of the ATV’s, demo rides, and torch light parade are all on tap for the festival which runs from Friday, Aug. 1 through Sunday, Aug. 3.
That is in addition to the access to hundreds of miles of ATV trails and Jericho Mountain State Park. In a major coup for organizers, Polaris will unveil its 2015 line-up of ATV’s at the festival. “Polaris is unveiling its 2015 line-up here first – no place else,” said Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce executive Paul Kinney. The chamber and Androscoggin Valley ATV Club agreed to push the date of the festival back a week to make it first on Polaris’s tour of its 2015 models. In addition to free demo rides, Polaris will have free give-aways.
Kinney said the big four ATV manufacturers will all be at the festival for the first time. In addition to Polaris, Yamaha, Can-Am and Arctic Cat will all be offering demos of their latest ATV’s on Friday and Saturday.
New this year is the Rave X ‘Outer Limits Freestyle Show’ which will do three performances on Saturday. The South Portland stunt team will feature a dirt biker and quad rider doing tricks 20 feet in the air. With stunts named superman, cordova, seat grab, sole grab, stripper and hair attack, it promises to be a thrilling show. The event is sponsored by Chapman Scrap Metal and Recycling.
Another new event this year is ATV pulling on Saturday with the finals on Sunday. Different classes will be announced for the pulling competition, which is sponsored by the NH ATV Club and HK Power Sports.
Also new this year is the Jericho ATV Family Music Festival, which will run from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday at the Notre Dame Arena on Hillside Avenue in Berlin. Playing will b3e the local band “Shine” with Elvis Houle of Berlin on drums and the popular New England country/rock band, “Duke”. A beer tent will be set up in the parking lot where Valley Creek Eatery will be running a barbeque.
Planning for the 2014 festival go underway as last year’s festival concluded and organizers have spent the last year working on expanding the event.
‘It’s all about the mud” is one of the themes of the festival and the mud pit events are always crowd favorites. Kinney said the mud pit has been redone for the festival this year and also revealed there is a new recipe for the mud itself. The result should be an even muddier run for ATVers and fans. The N.H. National Guard is sponsoring the mud pit events. Kinney said last year the festival drew about 2,500 people. “We’re expecting to double that this year” she said.
The festival opens Friday with a poker run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will also be mud pit grudge runs, demo rides, an obstacle course as well as food and market vendors and music. The fee to get into the park is $5 per person with kids under 6 getting in free. At 3 p.m. Friday, the activities shift to downtown Berlin for a giant downtown block party. Main Street from Northway Bank to city hall will be closed except for ATV’s from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Berlin Main Street head Sylvia Poulin said the downtown block party was one of the highlights of last years festival and should be even better this year. There will be a beer tent and the local favorite band “A jot of JD” featuring Dave Duschesne and Jon Poulin, will be performing.
Local merchants and restaurants will be offering specials. Poulin said Greetings Jewelers will be holding a ‘Diamonds in the Rough’ raffle for a diamond stud earing in conjunction with N.H. Grand. Middle Earth will be doing ear piercing and selling lemonade. Maureen’s Unique Boutique is offering 20 percent off Fox clothing and accessories and Morin Shoe Store will have special deals on Dansko and Merrill footwear. Gill’s Flowers is offering a Muddy Boots Bouquet for $15. Skinplicity, David Lee’s, Betty Dee Fashions and Rumorz invited visitors to check out their sales and latest fashions.
There will also be plenty of food options available. Tea Birds Restaurant will be selling a favorite lobster entrée as well as candied steak tips and brownie mud sundaes. Wang’s Restaurant will be selling a variety of Chinese appetizers. Tony’s Pizza will offering its famous pulled port sandwich along with burgers, fries and subs. Gold House Pizza will be offering pizza, subs and baklava. The Salvation Army will be selling red beans and rice with cornbread as a fundraiser for charity.
At 9 p.m. there will be an ATV Torch Light Parade through downtown using glow lights as torches. “We’re expecting a big turnout downtown” said Poulin.
Saturday kicks off at 9 a.m. with a Blessing of the ATV’s and opening ceremony in the parking lot of the Welcome Center at the park. Rev. Kyle Stanton and Rev. Andrew Nelson of Good Shepherd Parish will perform the blessing and then are expected to take a ride through the mud pit.
Tea Birds will be serving an outdoor buffet behind the restaurant on Pleasant Street. Registration for the mud pit races will run from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. with the elimination heats running from 10 a.m. to noon. The finals will take place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. During the noon break in the races, the Wreck the Dress competition will take place.
ATV pulling will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the obstacle course is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Rave X Free Style show will run at 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. The four manufacturers will be offering demo rides from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Throughout the park there will be after market and food vendors as well as music. The fee to get in Saturday is $10 per person.
The Jericho ATV Family Music Festival at Notre Dame Arena runs from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Kinney notes the arena is right on the trail and ATVers can drive right to the music festival. The final day of the festival gets underway at 6:30 a.m. with a pancake breakfast being offered at Notre Dame Arena. The park opens at 8 a.m. with admission free with a bracelet from Friday or Saturday. The final of the ATV pulling will be held as well as mud pit grudge runs.
Friday and Saturday there will be free bus rides to and from the festival every half hour. Details will be announced soon. Kinney said the festival would not happen without the many sponsors who donate money, equipment and labor. They include ROMIK Developers, Chapman Scrap Metal and Recycling, City of Berlin, ENH Power, Labonville, Arctic Cat, Can AM, Polaris, Yamaha, National Guard, Great North Woods Container Service, AD Excavating, Moose Poop Tours, Berlin Water Works, Jericho Brook Commercial Development, A & B Excavating, Ray’s Electric, NH Parks and Recreation, NH Trails Bureau and NH Fish and Game.
Two participants in the 2013 "Wreck the Dress Event"